Oh how I loved thee. Let me count the ways.
Seriously though. This book was phenomenal. I know that Moonlight Reader and I cannot wait to get to the final book in this trilogy. We plan on starting the third book, The Amber Spyglass as part of our #FridayReads.
Here is my review of book one, Wonderful Beginning to His Dark Materials Trilogy. When Moonlight finishes her reviews I will add links here so you can read them. Looks like we finally got some good book mojo our way.
Spoilers for those who have not read The Golden Compass.
So after the events of the last book, where Lyra now calling herself Lyra Silvertongue has found out that her father is Lord Asriel and her mother is Mrs. Coulter. Lord Asriel has killed her best friend Roger and used that death to punch a doorway into another world. Lord Asriel has plans to take down "death" itself. Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon have decided to follow Lord Asriel and do whatever is necessary to stop him.
Seriously though. Lyra has the worst parents ever. Your heart breaks for her and you realize how brave she is in order to do what is necessary to stop Lord Asriel after her inadvertent treachery led to Lord Asriel's bigger treachery.
Now book two begins in our world.
A young boy named Will doing his best to hide his mother while he goes looking for his missing father. Some strange men keep coming to Will's house and asking for something that they think his father may have sent to them. Will manages to find a hidden opening and walks into another world and finds Lyra. Joining up, the two children realize that they need one another in order to do what the alethiometer tells Lyra she must do, which is find Will's father with him.
The character of Will won my heart. That kid had sheer bravery in the face of extreme odds. Lyra likens him to Iorek Brynison and he really is like him and also just like him gets Lyra to stop and think before she jumps in head first to take people on.
Lyra matures throughout book two. She realizes that she needs to be more careful of what she does without thinking it through because it can mean Will's death. In Lyra's head the worst thing to do would be to betray or lose him, she truly loves him and he becomes her best friend.
We have secondary characters who are no less important like Serafina Pekkala who is a straight up boss in this book. I shudder for Mrs. Coulter because Serafina is all about making sure all debts are owed in the end.
Also we get more points of view by Lee Scoresby who just like Serafina, loves Lyra for her own sake and will do what is necessary to take care of her.
I don't know if I can forgive Phillip Pullman for what happened to this character. I started crying. It was straight up heart wrenching.
We also get some new big bads in this book and the reappearance of Mrs. Coulter and her horrible golden monkey. Lord Asriel is discussed and I don't know if this is leaning towards him being a good guy or what. I am not here for Lord Asrie's redemption. I hope Lyra sticks a knife through him. Wow I have gotten quite blood thirsty reading these books.
The writing was fantastic. I once again have to give Phillip Pullman kudos for how he incorporated religious symbols and other stories from the Bible in this book. We have a discussion of angels and of Dust and Dark Matter. I really think it was smartly done. The pacing was perfect too. I was holding my breath up until the very last pages. And the book ending on a cliffhanger gave me a momentary feeling of WTF but I quickly got over it since I now I am reading book three on Friday.
The setting of the different worlds was great. I can't wait to read more about the bearer of the knife, spectres, and daemons. I felt like I was right there with Lyra and Will and I now more than ever wish that the movies would have done the first book justice. I swear these days unless it's on t.v. people don't take their time with stories like this.
The ending like I said is quite a cliffhanger. I think it was smartly done because you do want to keep readers coming back for me. I was still frustrated because I really did want to know what happens next.
I don't know how I am going to last til Friday!